The next spot on our tour and the penultimate one was the Bhavani Mandap Kolhapur. We enjoyed the tour very much so far. We came back to the heart of the city of Kolhapur to visit the Bhavani Mandap. While heading back, we had a great time playing cards and chatting with our driver. He told us about his family and kids. It seemed that he had become one of our own within a short span of time. We reached the Bhavani Mandap after an hour. The queue of tourists showed the popularity of the place. This temple was very important to the religiously devoted people of this city. The principal deity of the temple was the Goddess Bhavani. According to Hindu mythology, Bhavani was the younger sister of Mahalaxmi, the main deity of the city. Bhavani was a guest in the city of Mahalaxmi.
Our driver told us that in the past, the temple acted as a meeting place for the rulers. The temple has been a witness to many historical events, most notably one of the famous murders of the city. The temple is a testimony to the rich heritage of the city of Kolhapur, which was once a princely state during the British period. We saw a statue of Shahu Maharaj who was a prince of Kolhapur. The local people really loved him very much. A number of stuffed animals were put on display. They were said to be hunted by Shahu Maharaj himself. Among the exhibits, the giant bison was the most popular one. We also saw a wooden throne believed to have been used by the great Shivaji, when he would visit Kolhapur. The throne was a rather modest one, portraying Shivaji’s detachment to worldly comforts.
In the past, Shivaji is said to have built the temple for his family and even today the temple preserves the rich heritage of the Maratha warriors. We took the blessings of Goddess Bhavani. The Bhavani Mandap Kolhapur increased our respect for the great Chhatrapati Shivaji. Our driver told us how the great warrior was revered in the region even today. We then left for Jyotiba Temple.